Friday, October 19
THE PROBLEM OF SIN IN US
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold as a slave to sin. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. 21 So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. 22 For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, 23 but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.
The end of Romans 7 reveals the tension that we as imperfect believers constantly live in. C.S. Lewis explained this tension well when he said, “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good.” Paul knows that he “of the flesh”, That is proof that Paul is wise and his spirit is alive. He’s aware of his sinful tendencies and he’s not okay with it, he’s angry about it. He goes on to explain his frustration with the fact that he’s
consistently doing the things he resolves not to do. And he’s constantly coming up short in the areas he’s decided to do better. I don’t know about you but that sounds extremely familiar to the thoughts and feelings I experience about myself every day. Paul’s issue here isn’t a lack of desire, we can tell he wants to do what is right. We know the issue isn’t knowledge, Paul knows the difference between right and wrong. Paul’s problem is a lack of power. The law says: “Here are the rules and you had better keep them.” But it gives us no power for keeping the law.
The whole tone of this passage shows that Paul is desperate for help. He is overwhelmed with a sense of his own powerlessness and sinfulness. We must come to the same place of desperation to find victory.
Similar to Paul, our desire has to go beyond a hope to just do better. You have to become desperate for God to change you and no longer depend on changing yourself. Remember that Jesus works through you and with you. You don’t need to get more educated. You don’t need to get more motivated. You don’t need to better diagnose the issue. You don’t need a teacher, a coach, or a doctor. You need a Savior, and you have one. Live from victory today. Acknowledge the struggle and thank God for the victory he’s already given you over that struggle!
God help me understand that the awareness I have of my sin is actually a really good thing because it means your spirit is alive inside of me. Give me the grace to see every fight in my life from the place of victory that you have already given me.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.